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Oct 15 2011

Why I am an atheist – Janet Goelzer

I am not a theist because I was born that way. I am fortunate enough not to have been indoctrinated into any cults, brainwashed, or subjugated as a child. I am not a theist because I was born in this time, in this country, and with this brain.

I am not a theist because the idea that I was created by someone who owns me forever is repugnant. I am not superstitious, I am a lover of science and nature, I like things that are logical, and I like to be in control. I have never longed for an inherent purpose to my life; I am here because I was born. I don’t want to worship anything, I don’t want to live forever, I don’t want to be told I’m a sinner, and I don’t find comfort in having all the answers, especially when the answers must be taken on faith and don’t answer anything. I am atheist because I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived on this earth. I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived because I am atheist.

Janet Goelzer
Texas, United States

(I put out a simple call for your explanations for why you’re an atheist, and I’m still inundated with submissions. This will be a daily feature on Pharyngula.)

91 comments

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  1. 1
    SimonC

    Janet, you rock.

  2. 2
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    I find your lack of faith…. fortunate.

  3. 3
    Katie

    Beautifully said.
    : )

  4. 4
    Kola

    Mr Athiest u are making a mistake.U have a creator whether someone tells u or not,u are a sinner & in need of a saviour as everyone else whether u believe it or not,heaven & hell is real & either of them would be ur eternal abode whether u believe it or not.U people fail to understand that ur disbelief in God does not make him to disexist

  5. 5
    Augustus Carp

    @Kola
    Thank you for your clear sighted summary of what lies in store. Just one teensy-weensy question though. How, exactly, do you know this?

  6. 6
    Hypatia's Daughter

    …I don’t find comfort in having all the answers, especially when the answers must be taken on faith and don’t answer anything.

    YES!!

  7. 7
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    Kola,

    does your religion teach that the Letter “y” is an abomination unto the Lord, and punctuation of the Devil?

    Or are you only a 12-year-old with a broken keyboard…

  8. 8
    julian

    Short, sweet and to the point.

  9. 9
    Cosmic Snark

    Kola: Fuck off, you grammatically-challenged babbling godbot.

  10. 10
    PZ Myers

    Why do all the godbots write like such illiterate idiots?

  11. 11
    Cosmic Snark

    Why do all the godbots write like such illiterate idiots?

    Because they are.

  12. 12
    Kevin Alexander

    Kola,

    Jesus came to me the other day and explained that the Rapture happened some time ago. He took every true believer who wasn’t also stupid into heaven.

    He didn’t take me because I don’t believe in Him. Why ar u stil posting?

  13. 13
    mjones

    Janet, you’ve expressed my own viewpoint and experience exactly. I’m saving this. I’ve tried to write down my own version of this many times but failed. Thank you.

  14. 14
    Rey Fox

    Because education and literacy are anathema to Christianity.

  15. 15
    Anteprepro

    Janet: ” I am not a theist because I was born in this time, in this country, and with this brain.”
    “…I don’t want to live forever, I don’t want to be told I’m a sinner, and I don’t find comfort in having all the answers, especially when the answers must be taken on faith and don’t answer anything. I am atheist because I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived on this earth. I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived because I am atheist.”

    Brilliant sections. I find, personally, that it is important to express just how fulfilling an atheist life can be for an atheist in contrast to a religious life, and how this is completely contrary to the perspective that atheists just wallow around in existential angst.

    And speaking of theists not understanding shit, Kola sez:
    “U people fail to understand that ur disbelief in God does not make him to disexist”

    Oh, the irony. You realize that your belief also doesn’t make God exist, right? And we have reasons for believing that you’re wrong to believe God exists in the first place? If you actually have evidence that you’re right, by all means, show us. Until then, all you have is unfounded assumptions.

    Also, “disexist” should just be “not exist”. “Disexist” looks like a word that would be used to describe two MRAs, or a person who is both misogynist and misandrist. But apparently, it’s just an obscure metal band.

  16. 16
    Dick the Damned

    Janet’s from Texas, so there is hope for us all. Although, being exposed to all the religious idiocy there, maybe she had to react against it. Whatever, that was a clearly written exposition, for which i thank her. (And so much better than the crap from Kola.)

  17. 17
    Karellen

    While the sentiments expressed here are obviously heartfelt, they make me uncomfortable because they seem too much like the argument from wishful thinking. Theists are rightly scorned for the argument “I want to live forever, therefore God”; isn’t it a touch hypocritical to praise someone for making the argument “I don’t want to live forever, therefore not-God”?

  18. 18
    Kevin Alexander

    “Although, being exposed to all the religious idiocy there, maybe she had to react against it. ”

    That’s what happened to me. When I was a little kid and first heard about god and the angels and everything, I liked the idea.

    Then I got to catholic school. We were taught that we had to suffer and die because someone else ate an apple. I was only six and didn’t know the expression WTF? But I knew the feeling exactly.

  19. 19
    Gregory Greenwood

    I would say that Kola is a Poe – such babbling idiocy just seems too extreme to be real – but then I notice the utterly illiterate nature of its scribblings (a characteristic long associated with godbots) and I find myself reassessing my initial impression.

    Sadly, it seems that Kola may actually be that stupid. It’s the kind of thing that makes one worry for the future of our species.

    I would ask hir for evidence, but the near absolute certainty that Kola wouldn’t even understand the question, let alone actually provide any scientifically credible evidence, leads me to think that there just isn’t any point.

  20. 20
    julian

    @Karellen

    I don’t think that it’s an argument (even though it’s stated as one) It’s a rejection of the emotional appeals and appeals to our ‘natural state’ made on behalf of ‘God’ and an affirmation that it’s possible (natural even) not to feel the need for one.

    Or at least that was my reading.

  21. 21
    Daniel Brady

    Short and sweet, that was great. My favourite so far!

  22. 22
    Gregory Greenwood

    Karellen @ 17;

    While the sentiments expressed here are obviously heartfelt, they make me uncomfortable because they seem too much like the argument from wishful thinking. Theists are rightly scorned for the argument “I want to live forever, therefore God”; isn’t it a touch hypocritical to praise someone for making the argument “I don’t want to live forever, therefore not-God”?

    I can’t speak for Janet here, but I think you are missing the point of her post. I read Janet as saying that she doesn’t want to live forever, and so she doesn’t need any fantasy of god or the supernatural to furnish a means to acheive the most likely impossible – the eternal maintenance of a system as complex as a human consciousness.

    Look at the broader context of the ‘not wanting to live forever’ quote;

    I have never longed for an inherent purpose to my life; I am here because I was born. I don’t want to worship anything, I don’t want to live forever, I don’t want to be told I’m a sinner, and I don’t find comfort in having all the answers, especially when the answers must be taken on faith and don’t answer anything.

    I think Janet was critiquing the immaturity of a religious belief that tells its followers that all they have to do is surrender their critical faculties and they will live forever in a celestial Disneyland. She sees no value in supposed ‘answers’ that answer nothing, and must be taken solely on faith in a ‘Pascal’s Wager’ style scenario. That isn’t ‘wishful thinking’, that is taking rationalism over faith and fairy tales, whatever pot of gold is promised at the end of the theist rainbow.

  23. 23
    ManOutOfTime

    Lovely. And very Texan, I might add, except for the whole atheist part of it! Not even Jeebus can mess with Janet – I like!

  24. 24
    Joshua Fisher

    I am not a theist because the idea that I was created by someone who owns me forever is repugnant.

    I agree that this idea is repugnant, but the lack of appeal has no bearing on truth.

    I don’t want to worship anything, I don’t want to live forever, I don’t want to be told I’m a sinner

    I agree with most of these sentiments (I’m not sure on the live forever issue) however, desire has nothing to do with reality.

    I feel that this “Why I’m an atheist” post leaves a sour taste in my mouth. We shouldn’t believe things because we want to, or not believe them because they are distasteful. We should believe things because we have good reason to believe they are true.

  25. 25
    Lorelei

    This could be my story. I was raised in an entirely secular, science-focused family and was astonished as I grew older that anyone could still believe the old mythologies of religion. I was fortunate that I had a chance to thank my parents for raising me to find wonder in the real and value helping other people in this world in real ways, rather than ignoring them with prayer. I have no old phobias that I am being watched or judged. I lost my dad two months ago, and it gives me some comfort to have expressed my gratitude before he died.

  26. 26
    tushcloots

    Joshua Fisher says:


    15 October 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I am not a theist because the idea that I was created by someone who owns me forever is repugnant.

    I agree that this idea is repugnant, but the lack of appeal has no bearing on truth.

    I don’t want to worship anything, I don’t want to live forever, I don’t want to be told I’m a sinner

    It looks to me that she is stating herself this way is to show that those are very poor reasons to want to become religious i.e. it is psychologically abhorrent to accept this thinking as part and parcel of persuasion to believe.
    It is extremely sick to view oneself as innately bad, or faulty, and any religion(or dogma/oppression) that insists on this is profoundly faulty and almost certainly wrong.
    It is just another indication that religion is false.

    That’s me, but I agree with her 100%

    @Janet Goelzer,

    I don’t want to worship anything, I don’t want to live forever, I don’t want to be told I’m a sinner, and I don’t find comfort in having all the answers, especially when the answers must be taken on faith and don’t answer anything. I am atheist because I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived on this earth. I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived because I am atheist.

    Yes! Yes, a thousand times Yes!!! We are unfathomably fortunate, not a whim. We are free to choose because it is what we value intuitively, and it is naturally so and backed by pure reason that this is correct! We are free to be curious, and we are curious because we value life and want to know all about it, we want to understand reality unfettered. We let no one tell us what to think because that is the ultimate insult to what we are – freely thinking and feeling beings. We have this because it not only feels right, it is rational. There are no internal conflicts, and that is freedom in a nutshell.

  27. 27
    Dhorvath, OM

    Joshua Fisher,
    But you could agree it’s a good reason to be anti-theist and areligious, yes? The ideas get pretty muddy.

  28. 28
    Thomas Lawson

    Way to represent Texas, Janet.

    Thought you’d enjoy a little taste of 1903 Texas atheism, courtesy of a 23-year-old named Minnie Parrish from Leonard, Texas. Excerpt from Letters from an Atheist Nation:

    Why I Am An Atheist

    Because it has dawned upon me that it is right to be so, and upon investigation I find no real evidence of the divine origin of the scriptures. And because I cannot, as a refined and respectable woman, take to my bosom as a daily guide a book of such low morals and degrading influences. Written by a lot of priests, I cannot accept a salvation that is based wholly upon the dreams of an ancient and superstitious people, with no proof save blind faith.

    Ms. Parrish was 23, had two young sons (a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old), and was about to enter medical school at the University of Texas. She graduated from the Fort Worth University medical department in 1908.

  29. 29
    Thomas Lawson

    I forgot to mention that Ms. Parrish was never married.

  30. 30
    tushcloots

    I forgot to thank you, Janet, for helping me to finally be able to express myself. Yours is a great insight.

  31. 31
    Jett Perrobone

    I’ve tried to translate Kola’s post using anagrams.

    Here we go:

    Mr Athiest u are making a mistake.
    U have a creator whether someone tells u or not,
    u are a sinner & in need of a saviour
    as everyone else whether u believe it or not,
    heaven & hell is real & either of them would be ur eternal abode
    whether u believe it or not.
    U people fail to understand that ur disbelief in God
    does not make him to disexist

    anagrams to

    I am the skunk, I am a meagre artist.
    A malevolent, treacherous, rotten whorehouse.
    A nefarious, rude, inane aversion.
    White-hot, venereal, tenebrous, evil eyesore.
    Heed holier-than-thou believer or lewd, feeble mauler Satan.
    Thieve hotter bowel urine.
    Proudful, pea-brained, untested, self-loathing idiot.
    The sodomite exists and I’m OK.

    Ah, that makes more sense.

  32. 32
    Kemist

    U have a creator whether someone tells u or not,u are a sinner & in need of a saviour as everyone else whether u believe it or not,heaven & hell is real & either of them would be ur eternal abode whether u believe it or not.U people fail to understand that ur disbelief in God does not make him to disexist

    There are a lot of things that you seem to fail to understand, my friend.

    Proper grammar seems to be one of them. And also logic. And the simple fact that believing something doesn’t make it so, even if a lot of people believe it. That stating repeatedly that something exists does not make it true either.

    So let’s hear your proof that your god does not “disexist”. Bonus points if you mention neither the boring old ahistoric fairy tale book that is the bible (where unicorns and zombies exist and pi equals 3), or your personal feelings.

  33. 33
    tushcloots

    @Jett Perrobone says: Anagram this!

    Damn, That’s one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in a while. That is effin’ good!

  34. 34
    Aquaria

    Mr Athiest u are making a mistake.U have a creator whether someone tells u or not,u are a sinner & in need of a saviour as everyone else whether u believe it or not,heaven & hell is real & either of them would be ur eternal abode whether u believe it or not.U people fail to understand that ur disbelief in God does not make him to disexist

    Illiterate, illogical and painfully stupid–just what I do not want to be.

  35. 35
    Aquaria

    I am not a theist because the idea that I was created by someone who owns me forever is repugnant.

    I agree that this idea is repugnant, but the lack of appeal has no bearing on truth.

    Funny, a lot of theists do find it appealing to have supposedly been created and owned by a genocidal scumbag deity. Stating that you’re not interested in it is rejecting one of their more idiotic arguments.

  36. 36
    Aquaria

    Mr Athiest u are making a mistake.

    This from a cretin who can’t create a coherent sentence.

    Typical godbot’s unevidenced, moronic assumptions, bullshit and threats

    If a moronic douchebag like you is going to heaven, I’d rather burn in hell than spend eternity with a hateful piece of shit like you.

    Fuck you.

  37. 37
    raven

    Why do are all the godbots write like such illiterate idiots?

    Fixed.

  38. 38
    susan

    This is excellent, Janet. I wish I’d been so fortunate. As it was, I wasted a lot of time in Mass and pretend adoration, adhering to my parents’ mythology while under their control. At least I spared my kids that torture, and hope they feel the same way you do.

  39. 39
    Holla

    “I am not a theist because I was born that way.”

    Hmm. I am not rich because I was born poor. So what?

    ” I am fortunate enough not to have been indoctrinated into any cults, brainwashed, or subjugated as a child.”

    Really? Your parents didn’t subjugate you AT ALL? Surprised you survived toddler-hood, then.

    “I am not a theist because I was born in this time, in this country, and with this brain.”

    Might as well add ” and under the right stars.” Sounds suspiciously woo-ful to me.

    “I am not a theist because the idea that I was created by someone who owns me forever is repugnant.”

    I’m sure many born into Maoist China or Stalinist Russia expressed similar sentiments. But their repugnance didn’t exactly negate their Russian-ness or Chinese-hood.

    “I am not superstitious, I am a lover of science and nature, I like things that are logical, and I like to be in control.”

    Well, “liking to be in control” is certainly antithetical to the free-will free universe that science reveals, so I’d say your cognitive dissonance is just superstition under another moniker.

    “I have never longed for an inherent purpose to my life; I am here because I was born.”

    How boring.

    ” I don’t want to worship anything, I don’t want to live forever, I don’t want to be told I’m a sinner, and I don’t find comfort in having all the answers, especially when the answers must be taken on faith and don’t answer anything.”

    See above. Oh, and add intellectually vacuous. I’m surprised you could claim to “love science” and yet not be comforted by the quest for answers. I’m also surprised that you even bring up the word “comfort” at all. Are you somehow discomfited? If having all the answers doesn’t comfort you, then you seem to be implying that you’ve searched for comfort. Have you just found peace with being uncomfortable?

    “I am atheist because I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived on this earth. I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived because I am atheist.”

    Fortunate, i.e. lucky. I.e., superstition. I.e., your statement of anti-faith collapses under the sharp knives of literary deconstruction.

    Holla’s Prediction: You’ll be a Muslim in 5 years.

  40. 40
    PZ Myers

    Holla:

    Only 4 posts ever here, and you’re already making your reputation as a creepy and stupid asshole. I recommend you go find a nice Christian blog where you’ll fit right in.

  41. 41
    Dax Williams

    Thomas Lawson
    Minnie Parrish must have been quite a woman!
    It does however concern me that Darwin must have
    been wrong. He didn’t account for the female of the species
    having such large BRASS ones.
    I don’t know if I would like to live forever.
    I would like however to live long enought to
    make up my own mind.
    Dax

  42. 42
    Holla

    “PZ Myers says:
    15 October 2011 at 6:02 pm
    Holla:

    Only 4 posts ever here, and you’re already making your reputation as a creepy and stupid asshole. I recommend you go find a nice Christian blog where you’ll fit right in.”

    Oh, ad homs, dear professor?

    How shocking!

    How about answering my critique of Janet’s “confession?”

  43. 43
    Dhorvath, OM

    Dax Williams,
    Brass what? I do hope you aren’t trying to tie successful and brave to male genitalia.

  44. 44
    tushcloots

    Holla, you express such a lack of imagination that you are boring. Such a lack of understanding and comprehension that your thoughts are so perfunctory you see words, not meaning.
    You follow the appearance of logic, but the reason for using it escapes you.
    Go discuss the deep meaning of your cartoon existence with other cardboard dummies and revel in the shadows of a higher dimension of thought, you fucking congenital numpty. See you ya wee nyaff if ye dinnae bugger aff yer gettin’ a bash in yer moos, ken?

  45. 45
    nazani14

    Thanks, Janet, you’ve saved me the effort of having to write my own story. Oh, I had plenty of chances to involve myself in religion when I was young, but my parents were just too hard-working, even on weekends, to have any time for church or taking me to Sunday school. By age 10 I had noticed that prayer didn’t work, so there was no reason for me to explore further.

  46. 46
    nazani14

    - Just noticed that Kola addressed Janet as “Mr.”

  47. 47
    Eric RoM

    It’s a pity Holla doesn’t apply a mirror to his own vacuousness, given how virtually every sentence in his post is patently nonsensical.

    Brush off the Cheeto® dust and go take a logic course.

  48. 48
    Holla

    “Holla, you express such a lack of imagination that you are boring. Such a lack of understanding and comprehension that your thoughts are so perfunctory you see words, not meaning.
    You follow the appearance of logic, but the reason for using it escapes you.
    Go discuss the deep meaning of your cartoon existence with other cardboard dummies and revel in the shadows of a higher dimension of thought, you fucking congenital numpty. See you ya wee nyaff if ye dinnae bugger aff yer gettin’ a bash in yer moos, ken?”

    James Joyce, you ain’t.

    As for meaning and words, you’re so pre-modern (in terms of lit-theory, for one) as to be the first actual find of an intermediary state of man! Congrats, knuckle-dragger!

  49. 49
    myeck waters

    Really, Holla? You’re demanding PZM “answer” your response to Janet?

    Your “critique” made no sense. Most of your responses were basically saying “so what?” without offering any substantive argument, and in at least one case you actually suggested a completely unrelated addition to her statement, than based your response on that.

    You have offered nothing that needs answering.

    Your “critique” was not only stupid, it was dishonest.

  50. 50
    Holla

    Eric RoM says:
    15 October 2011 at 6:38 pm
    It’s a pity Holla doesn’t apply a mirror to his own vacuousness, given how virtually every sentence in his post is patently nonsensical.

    Try and unpack them there non-sense sentences, tough guy. You’ll find the rabbit hole deeper tha your reptile brain might expect.

  51. 51
    Holla

    “Really, Holla? You’re demanding PZM “answer” your response to Janet?

    Your “critique” made no sense. Most of your responses were basically saying “so what?” without offering any substantive argument, and in at least one case you actually suggested a completely unrelated addition to her statement, than based your response on that.

    You have offered nothing that needs answering.

    Your “critique” was not only stupid, it was dishonest.”

    Janet’s screed is infantile gibberish, which I handily revealed through the literary technique of deconstruction.

    Did that fly over your little petri-dish of a brain?

  52. 52
    myeck waters

    I see Holla thought he was in “Deconstruction” when he was actually down the hall in “Arguing Like a Six-Year-Old”.

    Bor-r-r-r-ring.

  53. 53
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    “I am not a theist because I was born that way.”

    Hmm. I am not rich because I was born poor. So what?

    Being rich or poor and being an atheist or a theist are very different things.

    ” I am fortunate enough not to have been indoctrinated into any cults, brainwashed, or subjugated as a child.”

    Really? Your parents didn’t subjugate you AT ALL? Surprised you survived toddler-hood, then.

    So? Are you saying that a toddler has to become religious in order to survive?

    “I am not a theist because I was born in this time, in this country, and with this brain.”

    Might as well add ” and under the right stars.” Sounds suspiciously woo-ful to me.

    If you think that is woo, you have no idea what woo is.

    “I am not a theist because the idea that I was created by someone who owns me forever is repugnant.”

    I’m sure many born into Maoist China or Stalinist Russia expressed similar sentiments. But their repugnance didn’t exactly negate their Russian-ness or Chinese-hood.

    Now we get to the main point of your diatribe, that atheism is the same as communism. You also toss in the idea these dictatorships are essential parts of their national character.

    “I am not superstitious, I am a lover of science and nature, I like things that are logical, and I like to be in control.”

    Well, “liking to be in control” is certainly antithetical to the free-will free universe that science reveals, so I’d say your cognitive dissonance is just superstition under another moniker.

    Methinks that you call superstition is anything that does not fall under your faith.

    “I have never longed for an inherent purpose to my life; I am here because I was born.”

    How boring.

    Bored now.

    ” I don’t want to worship anything, I don’t want to live forever, I don’t want to be told I’m a sinner, and I don’t find comfort in having all the answers, especially when the answers must be taken on faith and don’t answer anything.”

    See above. Oh, and add intellectually vacuous. I’m surprised you could claim to “love science” and yet not be comforted by the quest for answers. I’m also surprised that you even bring up the word “comfort” at all. Are you somehow discomfited? If having all the answers doesn’t comfort you, then you seem to be implying that you’ve searched for comfort. Have you just found peace with being uncomfortable?

    Word salad. You make a shit load of assumptions and proceed to condemn that person based on those assumptions. You cannot lose that way. Except that you are not addressing the person.

    “I am atheist because I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived on this earth. I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived because I am atheist.”

    Fortunate, i.e. lucky. I.e., superstition. I.e., your statement of anti-faith collapses under the sharp knives of literary deconstruction.

    And I repeat myself, for you, superstition is anything that does not fall under your faith.

    Holla’s Prediction: You’ll be a Muslim in 5 years.

    You have not been right in anything you wrote in this post. There is no reason to think that your prediction will be of any worth.

    Also, fuckface, there is no alliance between Islam and atheism. And atheism does not leave one to Islam.

  54. 54
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Did that fly over your little petri-dish of a brai

    Holla, your brain is the excrement from the petri-dish. Try logic, it evades your brain. Your imaginary deity doesn’t exist. End of story.

  55. 55
    myeck waters

    Also, since that insult was directed at me, I must point out that my brain is Fiesta Ware.

  56. 56
    bcw

    Well god made me an atheist and he never makes any mistakes, so there!

    :>P

    My brain needs to be pyrex after this posting…

  57. 57
    Hazuki

    You know, I have to agree that these are very weak or at least poorly thought out reasons for atheism. None of them really have any philosophical backing. At least I spent years and years on everything from apologetics to archaeology to text criticism to philosophy. This sounds like wishful thinking.

    THIS is what the creotards mean when they say atheism is a faith. Don’t give the morons any more ammunition, all right? Do your research. There are good reasons to be atheist, or at least to reject the Abrahamic God. These are not them.

  58. 58
    tushcloots

    Holla says:
    15 October 2011 at 5:56 pm

    1: “I am not a theist because I was born that way.”
    Hmm. I am not rich because I was born poor. So what?

    Right over your head, Holla. See my above reply to you. Your analogy is false. She is not using it as a reason to stay that way(being born thus), she is saying that being religious is not your natural state, it is artificial, ya wee ninny.

    2: ” I am fortunate enough not to have been indoctrinated into any cults, brainwashed, or subjugated as a child.”
    Really? Your parents didn’t subjugate you AT ALL? Surprised you survived toddler-hood, then.

    sub·ju·gate (sbj-gt)
    tr.v. sub·ju·gat·ed, sub·ju·gat·ing, sub·ju·gates
    1. To bring under control; conquer. See Synonyms at defeat.
    2. To make subservient; enslave.
    Adj. 1. subjugated – reduced to submission; “subjugated peoples”
    defeated – beaten or overcome; not victorious; “the defeated enemy”

    e.g. She was not raised as a sheep, but taught how to live. Maybe this will help yor din haid:

    subjugatedPart of Speech:
    verb

    Definition:

    overpower, defeat

    Synonyms:
    bear down, beat down, bring to heel, bring to knees, coerce, compel, conquer, crush, enslave, enthrall, force, hold sway, keep under thumb, kick around, overcome, overthrow, put down, quell, reduce, reel back in, rule, rule over, subdue, suppress, tame, triumph, vanquish

    Antonyms:

    free, liberate

    3: “I am not a theist because I was born in this time, in this country, and with this brain.”
    Might as well add ” and under the right stars.” Sounds suspiciously woo-ful to me.

    Do I have to even bother explaining this? Oh, yeah, you are a moron, here goes:
    Since when does physical fucking reality of fucking situation correspond to fucking superstitious thought?
    Her fucking circumstances she was born into allowed her the FUCKING FREEDOM OF THOUGHT to evaluate what is real from what is woo.
    Do you always see the opposite of what is meant, ya daftie?

    4: “I am not a theist because the idea that I was created by someone who owns me forever is repugnant.”
    I’m sure many born into Maoist China or Stalinist Russia expressed similar sentiments. But their repugnance didn’t exactly negate their Russian-ness or Chinese-hood.

    So fucking what, dipshit. Fuck, is your comprehension that stunted that you cannot discern the difference between what you choose to think and how you may be forced to act?!

    5: “I am not superstitious, I am a lover of science and nature, I like things that are logical, and I like to be in control.”
    Well, “liking to be in control” is certainly antithetical to the free-will free universe that science reveals, so I’d say your cognitive dissonance is just superstition under another moniker.

    FUCK, it it is the very fucking opposite. You trying for the world record in stupid irony?

    6: “I have never longed for an inherent purpose to my life; I am here because I was born.”
    How boring.

    Yes, exactly. Fucking nitwit. Real life isn’t good enough for your type. It is an infinitely valuable occurrence, but you need to turn it into a fucking character dwelling in a comic book?!

    That’s not only boring, it’s maliciously criminal. You are like walking through the Louvre, and instead of noticing and partaking in the beauty, you squander your only chance to experience it by picking up litter to keep the floor clean, therefore expecting that in doing so, when you exit the building, all of the ground will be clean and you can look wherever you want and not see litter.

    7: ” I don’t want to worship anything, I don’t want to live forever, I don’t want to be told I’m a sinner, and I don’t find comfort in having all the answers, especially when the answers must be taken on faith and don’t answer anything.”
    See above. Oh, and add intellectually vacuous. I’m surprised you could claim to “love science” and yet not be comforted by the quest for answers. I’m also surprised that you even bring up the word “comfort” at all. Are you somehow discomfited? If having all the answers doesn’t comfort you, then you seem to be implying that you’ve searched for comfort. Have you just found peace with being uncomfortable?

    Saying she doesn’t want to have all the answers <i.means that she gets reward(comfort) by using science to look for them. You are pathetic, you know that? I pity your shallow and gray view of everything. You cannot tell shadows from pits, or tell that you live only in a cave. With drawings made in wax crayons on the walls, which you worship, because that is what beauty is, inside of a cave.

    8: “I am atheist because I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived on this earth. I am one of the most fortunate beings ever to have lived because I am atheist.”
    Fortunate, i.e. lucky. I.e., superstition. I.e., your statement of anti-faith collapses under the sharp knives of literary deconstruction.
    Holla’s Prediction: You’ll be a Muslim in 5 years.

    I started out thinking I would insult and demean you with utmost insolence, but now I feel sobering sadness.
    I leave you with a wee Scottish proverb. Yes, even being a Scottish peon is a high and mighty Christian/Muslim/Biblethumper. But I digress, on to the proverbs -

    A hungry louse bites sair.
    “Spoken when the needy are importunate in their cravings, or exacting.”– Kelly.
    A hungry man has aye a lazy cook.
    A hungry man’s an angry man.
    A hungry man smells meat far.
    A hungry stomach is aye craving.
    A hungry wame has nae lugs.
    A hungry man is deaf to reason.
    A’ I got frae him I could put in my e’e, and see nane the waur for’t.

  59. 59
    julian

    These are not them.

    You’re right. These aren’t reasons not to believe in gods or God. It’s a flat out rejection of what Christians have deemed good and natural and what we should feel. An expression of the speaker’s contempt for the values accepted by the majority (believers).

    Really don’t get why everyone has to bring up ‘you’re a bad atheist. read theology like me.’

  60. 60
    bcw

    continuing the pottery class…

    Holla of course would be lustreware; I’m sure very fine but with a few chips to the old teacup leaving him with not quite a full set…

  61. 61
    raven

    Julian lying:

    An expression of the speaker’s contempt for the values accepted by the majority (believers).

    The xians are here!!! You can tell by the general incoherency and of course, lies. Lies are one of their sacraments.

    Which majority? Of which believers?

    Only 28% of the world’s population are xians. Xians themselves don’t agree on anything except that the church down the street is full of Fake Xians who got it all wrong and are going to hell.

    The number of No Religions worldwide ia about 1 billion and rising fast. Xians are 2 billion and falling in much of the world including the USA.

    This is the fallacy that reality is decided by voting. Not too long ago the earth was flat, the sun orbited the earth, demons caused diseases, and George Bush was deemed an capable of being president.

  62. 62
    Kemist

    “I have never longed for an inherent purpose to my life; I am here because I was born.”

    How boring.

    I see.

    Another vacuous unimaginative mind who likes their purpose to be decided for them.

    How boring.

    Almost as much as the stupid old myth books from which they supposedly take such meaning. Or church – that’s some major boredom right there.

  63. 63
    Thomas Lawson

    #57 Hazuki:

    1) With whom are you agreeing? The trolls?

    2) Everyone’s story is different, yet everyone is born an atheist. This is about realizing it. Studying apologetics, philosophy, archaeology, etc. will take you to another level entirely, thus making you a nihilist, a rationalist, a skeptic, a naturalist, an anarchist, a communist, and on. Remember, had there been no priests we would have no atheists.

    We are born atheists, and we die atheists. No further study is required of us to make either of those things happen.

  64. 64
    raven

    Julian the cuckoo troll:

    It’s a flat out rejection of what Christians have deemed good and natural and what we should feel.

    Oh really? I feel no desire to hunt down and burn witches. Some of my friends, in fact, are Pagans.

    I feel no desire to hunt down and kill apostates and heretic. It’s a good thing inasmuch as half my extended family is Catholic and half Protestant. We could fight the Reformation wars every day if we wanted to.

    I fell no need to hate Jews, Moslem, gays, atheists, scientists, science, Democrats, Obama, women, children, or college students. This is good because I fall into several of those categories.

    I feel no need to lie a lot, pretend to talk to imaginary Sky Monsters, fear demons under the bed waiting to get me, gibber like an idiot, become an internet troll, or assasinate MDs and bomb family planning centers.

    That all makes me a bad xian and a good atheist. It’s not a problem.

  65. 65
    Hazuki

    @58

    But this is important. You wouldn’t buy a car without doing the research right? You wouldn’t feed your baby girl something you didn’t know the ingredients too, right? So why would you subscribe to, or at least fail to reject, a worldview without doing huge amounts of testing and fact-checking? I believe that atheism is at least viable, and that the Abrahamic worldviews in particular are utterly ridiculous, but only after a lifetime of study in many fields and several years of particularly intense (obsessive) grinding on the Abrahamics.

    I guess I just don’t understand how some people can make sweeping generalizations or take their emotions as simple fact…

  66. 66
    tushcloots

    Fuck, I started writing at post #46 and it entered at #58.

    Hi Nerd!

    Apologies to Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments. I must get you teach me about conciseness!

    Holla says (to me):
    As for meaning and words, you’re so pre-modern (in terms of lit-theory, for one) as to be the first actual find of an intermediary state of man! Congrats, knuckle-dragger!

    Holy Fuck, a boring pedantic, yet curiously accurate, putdown. I’ll take that as a compliment! Thanks, man!

    Janet’s screed is infantile gibberish, which I handily revealed through the literary technique of deconstruction.

    Did that fly over your little petri-dish of a brain?

    You don’t know the fucking smidge of an afterthought what you are talking aboot about.
    Like I said, you are all talk and no walk, all show and no go, all technique, and no substance, piss all beer and no alcohol.

    I just used the literary technique of simile, and other stuff, too! But no one gives a wee nod to the fool’s errand, how ever I illuminate your fraudulence. (I just used the literary techniques of hogwash and make shit up, they are my faves)

    I fucking love to use words, too, but when I use them, I can make them mean as little or as much, on as many levels, as I want. I think, Haha.

    But mostly, I use them in a way that shows I know what they mean. And that shows a sense of humour, maybe even.

  67. 67
    Nyq Only

    If a troll is a poe does that make them a poe-troll?

  68. 68
    raven

    I guess I just don’t understand how some people can make sweeping generalizations or take their emotions as simple fact…

    Everybody’s experience is different.

    The religious theory says there are powerful, beings we can’t see doing things we can’t see either.

    With claims like that, the burden of proof is on those who claim invisible beings beyond space and time who actually do real things in the real world.

    My guess is that you didn’t spend years trying to prove fairies in the garden didn’t exist, trolls under bridges don’t exist, witches can’t cast magic spells, or hordes of invisible demons surrounding us and causing diseases don’t exist.

    There are thousands of religions, thousands of gods, and who knows how many superstitions about magical supernatural entities. It is parsimonious to ignore all those unless there is some proof that one or more exists.

    In the entire history of the human species, no such proof has ever been offered. C’mon kids, after thousands of years of stories that evolve and change without any proof, it is time to get to work and get to play.

  69. 69
    Gregory Greenwood

    Holla @ 39;

    Hmm. I am not rich because I was born poor. So what?

    Janet was pointing out that theism is not some kind of ‘default setting’ that children are born with – it is a learned behaviour, and she was raised in a secular household where theistic patterns of thought were not impressed upon her as truth when she was a child.

    Really? Your parents didn’t subjugate you AT ALL? Surprised you survived toddler-hood, then.

    I find it interesting that you focussed on the word ‘subjugation’ in relation to parenting, indeed, in relation to ‘good’ parenting in so far as the worth of parenting can be measured solely by infant survival. I would suggest that most effective parents seek to nurture and protect their children while helping them grow intellectually and develop their own understanding of the world around them. Brainwashing the child into an unevidenced religious tradition (all of which are irrational and many of which inculcate a sense of unnecessary guilt and toxic tribalism) does not seem very compatible with this goal.

    Unless, as Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments suggests @ 53, you would care to suggest that indoctrinating a child into a religion and stunting their intellectual development is a necessary step in their survival…?

    Might as well add ” and under the right stars.” Sounds suspiciously woo-ful to me.

    In what way is it ‘woo-ful’ to acknowledge that personal cognitive development is a function of brain physiology and cultural and environmental developmental factors? No supernatural agency is invoked. You aren’t seriously suggesting some kind of cognitive essentialism where persona and opinion are determined exclusively by some ill thought out dualist process, are you?

    I’m sure many born into Maoist China or Stalinist Russia expressed similar sentiments. But their repugnance didn’t exactly negate their Russian-ness or Chinese-hood.

    I fail to see your point here. If you are trying to liken atheism to communism, then you have misunderstood both. If you are trying to liken atheism to national identity, then you are conflating nationality with ideology. If you are trying to state that god ‘owning’ all humans is just an inescapable fact, then you really need to provide some credible scientific evidence that your god exists. Don’t worry, we’ll wait. What’s a few more minutes after several thousand years waiting for theists to come up with evidence – any credible evidence – for their various gods?

    Well, “liking to be in control” is certainly antithetical to the free-will free universe that science reveals, so I’d say your cognitive dissonance is just superstition under another moniker.

    So, you’re suddenly a mind/brain monist, are you? The universe is ‘free will free’ only in so far that the mind is what the brain does, and the brain is limited by principles of chemistry and physics. Just because any given person’s thoughts and feelings can be explained in a materialist fashion (one, incidentally, that doesn’t require any god) does not mean that they have to enjoy the idea of being subject to the will of another person, or to the supposed edicts of an unevidenced deity. To say “I am not a theist because the idea that I was created by someone who owns me forever is repugnant” is not superstition; it is a rejection of a god myth and the controlling subtext that is used to offer unearned, unjustifiable power and privilege to clerics. It is a denial of a craven theist rationale for obeisance to a mythological tyrant in the sky.

    How boring.

    That really isn’t much of an argument, is it? Stating that the standard religious ‘carrot’ of immortality (as opposed to the ‘stick’ of fire and brimstone) has no appeal to Janet is an important aspect of her atheism, and discussing the reasons behind her atheism was the purpose of the post. If it bores you so, why comment at all?

    See above. Oh, and add intellectually vacuous. I’m surprised you could claim to “love science” and yet not be comforted by the quest for answers.

    There is no serious comparison between the scientific quest for answers and the glib dogmas of religion. Janet wants answers – real answers that only science can offer. Religious fairy tales and confirmation bias just aren’t enough.

    I’m also surprised that you even bring up the word “comfort” at all. Are you somehow discomfited? If having all the answers doesn’t comfort you, then you seem to be implying that you’ve searched for comfort. Have you just found peace with being uncomfortable?

    What are you even trying to say here? Janet places no value on the non-answers of slick religious apologetics. Her point was straight forward. Your response goes nowhere at all.

    Fortunate, i.e. lucky. I.e., superstition. I.e., your statement of anti-faith collapses under the sharp knives of literary deconstruction.

    The acknowledgement of random factors upon one’s life experience is hardly superstitous. It is a fact that if any given person was born into a given epoch then their life would look very different indeed. Janet is simply pointing out that she feels that the fact that she was born in this time, when access to information is relatively free and religious authorities do not have a stranglehold on the discourse, was a vital factor in her development into a rationalist and an atheist – attributes that she places great value upon.

    Her statement of atheism has not “collapsed” at all, and your “sharp knives of literary deconstruction” seem far more akin to blunt spoons of transparent and ill conceived religious apologia.

    Holla’s Prediction: You’ll be a Muslim in 5 years.

    How do you arrive at this conclusion? Why Islam, and not Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism or Hinduism? What links atheism and Islam in your mind?

    Atheism is hardly compatible with Islam, and it certainly isn’t some kind of introductory course, and yet the two seem linked to you. Atheism states that there is no evidence for god, whereas Islam, like Christianity, simply assumes the existence of its deity without evidence. That you seem to associate Islam and atheism as somehow allied suggests to me that you simply lump together anything that doesn’t conform to your own belief system as a conglomerate ‘hostile other’ – if you took the time to understand the nuances of the arguments of others then maybe you would be in a better position to actually argue your case. Assuming you have a case to argue, that is.

    @ 42;

    Oh, ad homs, dear professor?

    You should really look up what the argumentum ad hominem fallacy actually is before you accuse people of it. It will save you embarrassment in the long run.

    How about answering my critique of Janet’s “confession?”

    I doubt that PZ will care to enter into any discussion with you. That is what the Pharyngulite horde is for.

    As for your use of the word ‘confession’, I find this odd. Janet was simply stating her reasons for not believing in god. There is nothing wrong or shameful in that, and if you seek to suggest that there is, then you will likely find yourself innundated with colourful suggestions for possible uses you might put decaying porcupines to.

    @ 48;

    As for meaning and words, you’re so pre-modern (in terms of lit-theory, for one) as to be the first actual find of an intermediary state of man! Congrats, knuckle-dragger!

    Invoking literary theory is scant defence against charges that your arguments don’t make any sense. Literary analysis does nothing to address the core issue; where is your evidence for god? Without that, no amount of lit theory, ‘sophisticated theology’ or other semantic manoeuvering will help your case.

    Try and unpack them there non-sense sentences, tough guy. You’ll find the rabbit hole deeper tha your reptile brain might expect.

    It is difficult to unpack that which is not there. You have not made much in the way of an argument. You have misrepresented Janet’s position and burned a few strawmen, but that is it.

    Janet’s screed is infantile gibberish, which I handily revealed through the literary technique of deconstruction.

    Jamet’s post was not a ‘screed’. PZ asked for posts that explain why many of the commenters here are atheists, and Janet simply answered. It was not written as some kind of polemnic.

    You say Janet’s post was infantile. I strongly disagree. She cogently and clearly expressed her moral and rational objections to religion. The idea that we are all slaves to an invisible celestial king is pretty repugnant to any freethinker. Doubly so when that deity is unevidenced, yet clerics still seek to claim authority based upon the supposed will of this undetectable phantasm – real, temporal authority over the lives of actual people, including those who don’t share their beliefs. This has been the source of immense death and suffering throughout history, and challenging this idea is an act of intellectual integrity and moral fortitude, not immaturity.

    It takes strength of character and a rational mindset to look objectively at the evidence and accept that the proposition of a godhead, and the associated promises of eternal life after death, simply aren’t supported by the evidence. It takes courage to reject the molly-coddling of easy answers and accept that there are things that we just don’t know, and much of what we do know falls into the category of a hard, uncompromising reality that cares nothing for what we find comforting or convenient. To look unflinching upon what is, and not retreat into a safety-blanket fantasy, is the true measure of how mature and rational a person really is. Once one opens one’s eyes to the fascinating nature of that which actually exists, even with all the knowledge of the dangers and problems that come with it, then the milksop myths of religion pale in comparison. Janet has the courage to face what is real, and the wit to appreciate its magnifience and beauty without the need to try to shoe-horn in a Bronze Age god myth. I respect her for that.

    My apologies for the lengthy post.

  70. 70
    myeck waters

    My apologies for the lengthy post.

    Not needed. Roger Ebert likes to say that no good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.

  71. 71
    Eric RoM

    “You’ll find the rabbit hole deeper tha your reptile brain might expect.”

    Shorter Holla: “Dude, I’m too deep for you!”

    ::eyeroll:: And like all rabbit holes, yours are infused with urine and feces. No thanks.

  72. 72
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Hazuki:

    You wouldn’t buy a car without doing the research right?

    I would say that your position is akin to claiming that you shouldn’t decide to live without a car without doing market-research on cars.

  73. 73
    Matt Penfold

    But this is important. You wouldn’t buy a car without doing the research right? You wouldn’t feed your baby girl something you didn’t know the ingredients too, right? So why would you subscribe to, or at least fail to reject, a worldview without doing huge amounts of testing and fact-checking? I believe that atheism is at least viable, and that the Abrahamic worldviews in particular are utterly ridiculous, but only after a lifetime of study in many fields and several years of particularly intense (obsessive) grinding on the Abrahamics.

    I guess I just don’t understand how some people can make sweeping generalizations or take their emotions as simple fact…

    One rejects all gods, or at least those who intervene in universe on the grounds there is lack of evidence. One does not need to examine each religion in turn to do this.

    It is even easier to reject those gods that do not intervene. Those gods are simply redundant. They do nothing.

  74. 74
    Kemist

    I believe that atheism is at least viable, and that the Abrahamic worldviews in particular are utterly ridiculous, but only after a lifetime of study in many fields and several years of particularly intense (obsessive) grinding on the Abrahamics.

    Why ?

    It’s as if, after suddenly realizing that your home Santa is actually dear old uncle Bob, you needed to research all the Santas in all the shopping malls in the world to finally be convinced that Santa does not exist.

    Personnaly, I have a lot of other, more interesting, things to do with my time.

  75. 75
    Dhorvath, OM

    As I recall, Hazuki didn’t find atheism easily and had they relied on the arguments set forwards here would still be a theist. Janet isn’t presenting an argument to convince others, but the argument which convinces her. Hazuki wants the argument that will convince anyone, but sadly we have seen that some won’t give up deities no matter what they are presented with.
    Is it a problem to have people be atheists based on moral arguments? I don’t think so, there are days when I would pick those sorts of arguments as being most relevant to me.

  76. 76
    Therrin

    Joshua Fisher,

    We should believe things because we have good reason to believe they are true.

    I wish posts like this didn’t come up while I was brushing my teeth. You owe me a new keyboard.

    Holla,

    Allow me to demonstrate: You do not know the definition of an ad hom, therefore I can dismiss all your arguments as pointless.

    Hazuki,

    You wouldn’t feed your baby girl something you didn’t know the ingredients too, right?

    Dunno about that, it’s not like I know the ingredients of breast milk offhand.

  77. 77
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    I think the moral arguments are entirely reasonable for rejecting religions that claim to be good. Otherwise, of course, one can’t get from an “ought” to an “is”. Dick Cheney is repulsive and immoral, but he still exists.

  78. 78
    Dax Williams

    Dhorvath.om
    let’s play
    Woman can’t have BRASS ovaries??
    I would like to live forever! option to take the Vodka SNUFF whenever.

  79. 79
    Anri

    Try and unpack them there non-sense sentences, tough guy. You’ll find the rabbit hole deeper tha your reptile brain might expect.

    Congrats, knuckle-dragger!

    Did that fly over your little petri-dish of a brain?

    …Antagonizer, is that you?

    (He was the guy constantly going on about our pitiful brains being inadequate and obsessed with spaceflight, right? Or am I conflating banned trolls?)

  80. 80
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Dax Williams:

    let’s play

    Shoo, little one.

    (The infants’ playpen is over there)

  81. 81
    Christopher Booth

    Holla:

    Your posts read like you are a godbot troll playing at the persona of an athiest. So, are you equal to Thomas Aquinas and the fiftyfive reasons he has made to prop it up?

    See you ya wee nyaff if ye dinnae bugger aff yer gettin’ a bash in yer moos, ken?”

    James Joyce, you ain’t.

    Nor are you, you pretentious name-dropping poseur. You’ve responded to Scots dialect with a reference to an Irish writer. Duh. Tushcloots had you with nyaff, numptie. Now, more apropos would have been something along the lines of “An’ yer nae Bobbie Burns, ye ned.” Or do you think that James Joyce couldn’t have retorted like a gillie himself? Perhaps, not being Joyce, you could have countered in good Anglo-English: “Manky Scots git”, and had done with it. OK, you weren’t up to that, either. So, a reference to a Scottish writer who would represent claritas, rather than an Irish writer would have worked–there are quite a few. Hume would have been a good choice. Boswell. Name-dropping D’Arcy Thompson, the Scottish polymath who was a fabulous polyglot, an extraordinarily elegant writer, and a legendary biologist would have gotten you more points here than trying to clothe yourself in auctoritee by big-name-dropping JJ…who was an ill fit contextually, Einstein. But then, to do that, you would have had to actually be educated to a level deeper than name-dropping the names everyone knows, eh, Sherlock? (Holmes was conceived in Edinburgh, so a “no-shit, Sherlock” would have been more apropos than the reference to dear dirty Dublin’s JJ.) Huh.

    Your references to literary theory, deconstruction (which, despite your claim, you did not do) and Alice’s rabbit-hole (Oxford area), etc., were nothing but a pose; you attempt to replace cogency with references to things you think intellectual…and imagine thereby making yourself seem intellectual. You fail completely. Your posts in this thread have been mean-spirited, devoid of thought, and absent of education. And like all good little godbots, you place pretence over content.

    Yes, your failure to understand what an ad hominem is–while incorrectly accusing someone else of employing an ad hominem argument!–already shows you to be mentally flaccid. Its Freshman philosophy, dult. John Clark Maxwell, you ain’t. [Yeah, look it up, gowk, you got ad hominem wrong and everyone here saw it. You pwned yourself.] But your inability to tell Scots dialect from Irish dialect while posturing as a literary scholar shows your intellectual poverty in sharp and clownish relief.

    Daftling.

  82. 82
    claudeshears

    Alas John More less
    Wow! more /less
    Are you asking for a record deal. Sounds
    Yes sounds like. Well LESS
    unless you’re LIKE Dhorvath and you’re
    like a piece of what PZ doesn’t like

  83. 83
    raven

    The crazy troll is sockpuppeting.

    Probably it is someone who has been banned for being incoherent before.

  84. 84
    Charles in San Diego

    “You were born,
    so, you’re free.
    So, happy birthday”

    -Laurie Anderson

  85. 85
    Charles in San Diego

    –last post was on-topic, but now realize that the topic has morphed. So sorry. My post was meant for Janet, in response to her essay. I didn’t mean to get in the way of a bitchin’ and informative discussion, dudes.

  86. 86
    opposablethumbs

    @Gregory Greenwood #68 – thank you for that clear, cogent and comprehensive post. A pleasure to read.

  87. 87
    Gregory Greenwood

    opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces @ 85;

    Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. I really do feel that I should learn to be more concise in my wording though. I am sure that I could have expressed the same points without being so verbose.

  88. 88
    Joshua Fisher

    To be clear, I agree with Janet’s feelings and impressions about religion. Religion is abhorrent. It is awful. It would be abhorrent and awful even if it were true. Luckily, it is not.

    My major objection to her post was that it was presented as, “The reason I don’t believe is because these things are awful.” Sometimes things are awful. I think its awful that millions of kids die of starvation every year. Unfortunately it does really happen, no matter how awful it is.

  89. 89
    The Countess

    Hola: Hmm. I am not rich because I was born poor. So what?

    You admitted more than you know there. You’re poor in both reason and intelligence. You didn’t make any profound statements in your comment. Only snippy “so what”s.

  90. 90
    Chris Booth

    Tushcloots:

    Holla’s buggered off. He’s scampered.

    He turned his tail and he bravely fled.

    p.s. I enjoyed your posts to this thread, particularly #58.

  91. 91
    reason

    ““I am not a theist because the idea that I was created by someone who owns me forever is repugnant.”

    This is a novel and apealing sentiment. But it is true, it is not only illogical to claim that a creater must automatically have a continuing concern for his creation (as a computer programmer I must know that), it is also illogical and REPUGNANT to give him perpetual RIGHTS over that creation. Well said.

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